Moody’s down­grade of Turk­ish growth not dis­cour­ag­ing for GE

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

TURKEY is still one of the pri­or­ity coun­tries for in­vest­ment, Alex Dim­itrief, CEO and pres­i­dent of GE’s Global Growth Or­ga­ni­za­tion, said fol­low­ing U.S.-based credit rat­ing agency Moody’s de­ci­sion to down­grade Turkey’s sov­er­eign rat­ing.

GEN­ERAL Elec­tric (GE) con­sid­ers Turkey among the pri­or­ity coun­tries for growth. The world gi­ant, which has un­der­taken the first smart fac­tory trans­for­ma­tion in Ge­bze, wants to take part in the dig­i­tal­iza­tion journey of Turk­ish com­pa­nies.

Alex Dim­itrief, CEO and pres­i­dent of GE’s Global Growth Or­ga­ni­za­tion, came to Turkey with top ex­ec­u­tives of the com­pany for a va­ri­ety of con­tacts. Touch­ing upon the lat­est de­ci­sion of U.S.-based credit rat­ing agency Moody’s to down­grade Turkey’s sov­er­eign rat­ing, which led to an as­sump­tion that eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors sug­gest that the de­ci­sion was based on “po­lit­i­cal” mo­tives, Dim­itrief said Turkey was one of the pri­or­ity coun­tries for GE’s in­vest­ments re­gard­less of Moody’s rat­ing, a re­port in the Dünya daily said yes­ter­day.

In a ref­er­ence to Turkey’s po­si­tion in the com­pany’s global growth strat­egy, Dim­itrief said they have been op­er­at­ing in Turkey for a long time, stress­ing that it has been re­ally im­por­tant for them to ex­ist in this mar­ket for over 70 years. Not­ing that they have been strong in each of their sec­tors, namely en­ergy, health­care, avi­a­tion, re­new­able en­ergy and dig­i­tal, Dim­itrief said they re­gard Turkey as one of their homes in the world. “This mar­ket, in which the de­vel­op­ing mid­dle class fu­els the econ­omy, its young pop­u­la­tion prom­ises great po­ten­tial and the pub­lic strives to cre­ate a qual­ity en­vi­ron­ment in ar­eas such as health, trans­porta­tion and en­ergy, is very im­por­tant to us. You are a crit­i­cal part of our fu­ture,” Dim­itrief said.

Point­ing out that he is not aware of Moody’s ac­tiv­i­ties in the coun­try, Dim­itrief said they will con­tinue to in­vest in Turkey which is a part of their long-term strat­egy, in­di­cat­ing that they are now very in­ter­ested in in­vest­ments in health­care. “Pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships are very im­pres­sive in this sense. Turkey aims at in­creas­ing the qual­ity of the health care sys­tem not only the ac­ces­si­bil­ity,” he said. “In this re­spect, we see im­por­tant op­por­tu­ni­ties for GE. We have been here for 70 years. No mat­ter what kind of de­vel­op­ments oc­cur in the econ­omy, our ex­is­tence here is very im­por­tant for us.”

Dim­itrief said their wind tur­bine blades plant in İzmir has started op­er­at­ing, un­der­lin­ing that they aim to ex­port to many coun­tries in ad­di­tion to meet­ing Turkey’s needs in this re­gard. “This is a model we can ap­ply in dif­fer­ent ar­eas,” he noted, re­call­ing that this plant, built with a $50 mil­lion in­vest­ment in Bergama, re­al­ized its first ex­ports to Aus­tralia just re­cently.

“The Power Trans­form­ers fac­tory in Ge­bze will be the ex­port cham­pion in its field, we see. We will con­tinue to pro­vide high qual­ity em­ploy­ment with our more than 2,000 em­ploy­ees not only in th­ese fac­to­ries,” Dim­itrief added.

Dim­itrief said that they at­tach great im­por­tance to dig­i­tal­iza­tion through mod­els to im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of Turk­ish com­pa­nies, IoT sys­tems and ar­ti­fi­cial in­telli- gence (AI), stress­ing that Turkey is one of the mar­kets they are very much in­ter­ested in in that sense. “GE is go­ing through a dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. Here we first set our­selves as an ex­am­ple. We turned our pro­duc­tion cen­ter in Ge­bze into a smart fac­tory,” he said. “We are work­ing on achiev­ing a more ef­fi­cient and less costly pro­duc­tion sys­tem with AI and less hu­man er­ror, while mov­ing to­ward a smarter pro­duc­tion method when it comes to an­a­lyz­ing data and us­ing it in our work.”

Sug­gest­ing that Ge­bze is a very im­por­tant test cen­ter in this re­gard, Dim­itrief said they would spread this model all over the world as GE. “Air­lines, en­ergy com­pa­nies, and hos­pi­tals want to see how they can use the ma­chine we sell them in such an ef­fi­cient sys­tem and en­ter the dig­i­ti­za­tion process. In the next 10 years, it is es­ti­mated that dig­i­tal­iza­tion will add $10 tril­lion to the world econ­omy. And we, as GE, aim to be an im­por­tant part of it,” he con­cluded.

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